ISLAMABAD, April 12: Azad Jammu and Kashmir President Sardar Masood Khan on Monday said that we want peace in the region but peace cannot be established on the dead bodies of Kashmiris.
“If India desires peace, it will have to resolve the Kashmir issue in accordance with the wishes of Kashmiris and international principles,” Masood emphasized.
In an interview with a private television network at Kashmir House Islamabad, President Sardar Masood Khan said that bilateral talks with India had taken place many times in the past but they did not prove productive because the two countries had different goals.
Pakistan, he said, wants a solution to the Kashmir issue through these talks while India is trying to gain time by sidelining the Kashmir issue in the talks and discussing irrelevant and trivial issues so that it can deceive the world.
The President said that the people of Jammu and Kashmir were giving blood for Pakistan and the government and state of Pakistan would never leave them alone in their struggle for the right to self-determination.
Commenting on the international community’s support to the right to self-determination of the Kashmir people, he said that voices in support of Kashmiris are echoing in the UK, Europe, ASEAN countries, Gulf States and even in the US Congress.
But this support is coming from the members of the parliaments, civil society and the media. With the exception of a few countries, the governments of all the influential countries do not speak out against India because of their strategic, political and economic interests, while four of the five members of the UN Security Council, except China, are trading with India.
When asked what compelled India to negotiate with Pakistan, the Azad Kashmir president said that the BJP government in India was under intense internal pressure because the Modi government had tried to implement the Kashmir like policies in other states of India and had to face stiff resistance from the Indian people.
The second reason was that India’s arrogant expansionist policies were shattered by China in the Ladakh Valley, which forced it to reconsider its policy to some extent, but India’s oppression in Kashmir did not abate.
Replying to a question about the rumours of making Azad Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan provinces of Pakistan, President Sardar Masood Khan said that it was important to understand the difference between Azad Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan. The people of GB demanding their constitutional rights under provisional province, but there is no such demand in AJK.
The Government in Azad Kashmir, he emphasized, is governed by the Declaration of October 24, 1947, under which the State of Azad Kashmir is the base camp of the Freedom Movement of Kashmir, whose primary responsibility is to play its role in liberating the occupied part of the state of Jammu and Kashmir from Indian subjugation.
Replying to a question about holding a plebiscite after resettling Indian citizens in occupied Kashmir and changing the demography of the occupied state, AJK President Sardar Masood Khan said that first of all India is not ready to hold a referendum in IOJK to decide the political future of Kashmiris.
He said that India considers Kashmir as its “integral part” and is not ready for a referendum. If plebiscite ever held in Kashmir, it will be participated only by the Kashmiris who themselves or their ancestors were citizens of Kashmir even before 1947. He further said those who are being settled in Kashmir illegally by India right now will have no right to participate in the referendum.